DEVELOPER Norup+Wilson’s proposed 16-storey apartment tower in the Canning Bridge precinct has been knocked back by the state development assessment panel.
The Metro Central JDAP found that the development on 20-22 Kintail Road in Applecross didn’t offer enough community benefits to justify an extra six storeys above the standard limit.
One of the “community benefits” was potentially a ground-floor clinic for at-risk youth, sparking unrest amongst local residents.
Dr Lisa Booth, who spoke against the apartments at the JDAP meeting, also took Melville to task over consultation about the clinic at a special council meeting late in June.
“I am a doctor and I am aware that these clinics will be attended by large numbers of drug and alcohol-affected persons,” Dr Booth wrote in a submitted question.
“I also understand that the development will include public toilet and shower facilities. These facilities are also likely to attract the homeless and provide an area where drugs could be sold and used.
“Given the enormity of the potential impact upon the existing residential community, why has the City of Melville not insisted on a widespread community consultation and awareness process before bringing this matter before council to support that application to JDAP?”
The council says the clinic is still in negotiation and as such it wasn’t flagged in consultation.
Unusually for a JDAP it was a lone councillor who stuck up for the developer, with Melville’s Nicole Robins siding with the council’s planners in supporting the development.
The remaining four members of the panel, including councillor Tim Barling, voted against it.
His colleagues Nicholas Pazolli and Steve Kepert joined eight residents in the public gallery against the project.
An internal “Cross Functional Community Benefit Team” at Melville had deemed the project worthy of the discretionary height for offering five community benefits; active street frontages, landscaping, facilities like toilets and sheltered bike storage, giving up some land to widen Canning Highway, and providing community or commercial meeting places.
The JDAP’s rejection comes three months after Melville council flagged amendments to the structure plan governing heights around the bridge to peg back what it thinks are excessive claims from developers.
The Swan Foreshore Protection Association welcomed the knock-back, saying it brought some sense to Canning Bridge development.
Association founder Clive Ross said the council planners’ support for the plan made a mockery of having different zones in the precinct, as it would have been potentially higher than the supposedly denser area.
“We hope that a more objective approach will now be taken to ensuring any community benefits are authentic and of real and last benefit to the community,” Mr Ross said. He said the association would use the precedent to look into whether approvals of the Sabina and Precinct developments could be challenged.
by STEVE GRANT